This is a fantastic new polychrome jar. It is hand coiled, incised and slipped with natural pigments. Russell has incised a great bird and avanyu design. He has imbedded three rows of turquoise heishi, hematite dots, and another row of jet heishi on the bottom. The rounded body of the jar is slipped white and then incised with the great Pueblo bird and sun design. They are incised into the clay before they are fired. Russell has to be so careful and precises so that he doesn’t get any of the black or red clay slip on the white polished area.

This jar tells a story of the serpent and the great bird. It also depicts the sun when the storm and lightning occur. The bird knows it is time to take the serpent down, so he climbs on the back of the bird. The tail design is complex and gorgeous. You can see the Sunface, arrows, and feathers. Morenci turquoise stones are added. The neck has alternating rows of black and red panels, which called for two sessions of painting, applying a second coat. The clays that Russell uses are the same as those used in San Ildefonso pottery from the 1880s to about 1920. Starting in about 2005, he has been using this extremely deep red. Notice how far down Russell is able to polish the deep red tones inside the neck. It is a complete and cohesive work.

4 1/2″ high by 4 3/4″ wide